In a cost-cutting, belt-tightening initiative, HSBC, a top-tier, global bank, plans to downsize about 10,000 employees, according to the Financial Times. This was reported after a prior announcement had been made that the bank would be laying off over 4,000 professionals. Well-compensated, senior-level executives will bear the brunt of the cuts.
Downsizing has become a regular occurrence for both European and U.S. banks. Banking and financial institutions are confronted with a toxic combination of falling interest rates, uncertainty over Brexit, tensions between China and Hong Kong protests, the ramifications of trade wars and the possibility of a recession and an accompanying downturn in the global stock markets.
HSBC’s new interim CEO, Noel Quinn, is deviating from predecessor John Flint’s stance on staffing. It was reported that Flint was let go—in part—due to his reticence in taking action to deal with the economic and geopolitical challenges, including initiating downsizings. According to the Financial Times, a source told the paper, “We’ve known for years that we need to do something about our cost base, the largest component of which is people—now we are finally grasping the nettle.”